Articles from Ohio
Two bird conservation groups sued the Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers in an attempt to stop the development of a Lake Erie wind turbine farm about eight miles off the coast of Cleveland named “Icebreaker."
The measure would allow voters living in townships to petition to place a referendum on the ballot to undo wind farm site approvals by the Ohio Power Siting Board. ...The committee’s chairman, Rep. Nino Vitale (R., Urbana), noted that, as an energy source, wind farms take up thousands of more acres. ...“Maybe that is where some of the tension occurs in terms of why is this coming up.”
Under the current law, the authority to approve or deny wind energy projects belongs to the Ohio Power Siting Board. But Ohio Rep. Bill Reineke, R-Tiffin, and Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, introduced companion bills Wednesday in the Ohio House and Senate that would give communities a chance to vote on the issue. The bill in the house has several cosponsors, including Rep. D.J. Swearingen, R-Huron, who represents Erie and Ottawa counties.
“This bill is a result of many constituents reaching out to every single legislator on this stage here and asking them to do this because they’re seeing hundreds, in some case, of wind turbines around their dream homes they built,” said state Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, flanked by residents and other legislators from the region where the bulk of Ohio’s wind farms exist or have been proposed.
Building a wind farm in the midst of Lake Erie poses different engineering and technical challenges from the Atlantic Ocean. They include ensuring turbines can withstand the force of ice floes during winter. While huge cone-shaped turbine bases would be used to break the winter ice on Lake Erie, special "mono bucket" turbine foundations — mammoth steel suction cups that will be fixed to the floor of the lake — are meant to ensure the structures can handle subsurface ice keels.
“At that time the Alternative Energy Zone will rescind to new applications, thus sunsetting the Alternative Energy Zone program in Seneca County. Although the Seneca Wind and Republic Wind projects are accepted under the 2011 AEZ Agreement, if they must resubmit their application they would no longer be grandfathered under the agreement, based on a determination by the Ohio Power Siting Board.”
sPower refiled its Seneca Wind 212-megawatt wind turbine project this week with the Ohio Power Siting Board ...In a pre-application notification letter to OPSB Monday, the company outlined a plan similar to the project sPower withdrew in August.
A public hearing at Tiffin University’s Marion Center was hosted by the Ohio Power Siting Board Thursday afternoon to hear public testimony from area citizens about Republic Wind LLC’s application to develop a 200-megawatt wind turbine farm in Seneca and Sandusky counties.
“Buckeye Wind LLC and Champaign Wind LLC have relinquished the Certificates of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need issued for the Buckeye Wind project as construction activities have not commenced as required under the certificates,” according to a statement issued by Viola Baumann of Innogy – the Germany-based parent company of Buckeye Wind.
After LEEDCo failed to pay the invoice before the Aug. 26 deadline, Judge Nicholas J. Walstra on Sept. 3 ordered the agency’s review work to be suspended, and set a new payment deadline for Friday, Sept. 13. If the developers fail to pay the bill before then, their application “will be considered before the board for potential dismissal,” according to the Sept. 3 ruling.
The new resolution states that the commissioners are “in support of public safety by requesting longer setbacks than current law allows.” It also continues to stress the importance of protecting the Seneca County Airport and addresses concerns with any wind turbines within one mile of any K-12 county schools, because it could cause risk or distraction.
The resolution states that the county will "withdraw all previous support of the Seneca Wind, Republic Wind or any proposed wind turbine projects to the maximum extent allowed by law."
The decision to approve or deny Apex Clean Energy’s Emerson Creek Wind Project, however, falls to the Ohio Power Siting Board in Columbus. But that hasn’t stopped Groton Township trustees — Ron Brown, Roger Rowland and Roger Russell — from approving a resolution making their opposition to the project known.
Seneca Wind, LLC gave notice to the Ohio Power Siting Board that it hereby withdraws its application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the wind-powered generating facility in Seneca County, which was initially filed with the OPSB on July 16, 2018, and amended and modified thereafter.
Seneca Wind a subsidiary of Utah-based sPower, filed its application for the wind farm with the Ohio Power Sitting Board last July. The plans were met with fierce opposition from residents concerned about the size of the turbines and their impact on nature, though supporters of the project attended public meetings to speak on the topic as well.
Other parts of the proposed rules call for detailed reporting of wind farm “incidents” as soon as 30 minutes after discovery. The rules state that incidents “include, but are not limited to, events such as tower collapse, turbine failure, thrown blade or hub, collector or feeder line failure, damaging ice throw, nacelle fire, or injury to any person.”
LEEDCo describes Icebreaker Wind as a “demonstration project” and states among its other missions as an organization are to drive future offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes, creating thousands of jobs and contributing to clean air and water. The problem with the project for the Lake Erie Foundation and others opposed to offshore wind farms here is the potentially devastating impact it could have a migrating birds that traverse the lake.
With the resolution approved by the commission Thursday, any wind project linked to Sandusky County's 2012 alternative energy zone must resubmit an application with the state siting board.
TIFFIN — The drama of the Seneca Wind Farm controversy rose to a boil at a Tuesday public hearing.
The legislation would support FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse and Perry plants through a fee added to customer bills beginning in 2021. It would be offset by reducing Ohio’s clean-energy goals to 8.5% instead of the 12.5% target now. The measure also eliminates monthly surcharges to support energy efficiency measures.